Mariella Gradler


Dual studies with eLearning? How it works.

Deutsche Telekom not only offers training places and practical internships but also so-called dual-study courses.
I started my dual-study course, along with around 160 other students, on October 1st, 2018. I work at Deutsche Telekom in the HR Marketing department, and am studying for a Bachelor of Arts in business economics at the Provadis School of International Management and Technology.
The business economics course is divided into class attendance phases and practical internship phases. Each semester comprises a five-week class attendance phase and an 18-week practical internship phase. In the class attendance phase, students are taught by the Provadis tutors. The dual-study students doing their internships in Bonn are fortunate to be also studying in Bonn. Students doing their internships elsewhere travel to a Provadis location (such as Frankfurt) to attend classes. The practical internship phase then includes eLearning twice a week.


E-Learning? What’s that?

Think of eLearning like this: 30 students are sitting in different offices in Bonn or at other locations, and the tutor is in his office in Frankfurt. Three students have not muted their microphones, one is continually asking whether the others can hear him, and the tutor shares his e-mails instead of slides. No, nonsense!

eLearning is an easy way of conducting a lecture without hundreds of students having to travel all around Germany. eLearning enables business economics students here at Deutsche Telekom, for example, to study at Provadis in Frankfurt without having to continually relocate. That's good for us and for the company, because we save on traveling time. And we're also doing our bit for the environment by not using trains or cars.


Interaction with e-learning

We have two lectures on each of two days a week. The eLearning user interface is designed so that we can interact with the tutor. The tool includes check-marks and crosses that we can use to answer quick questions or get brief feedback. This quickly tells the tutor whether something has been understood, or needs to be repeated. The tutor can also enable students to mark something on the slides, or to speak through their microphones. This means an active discussion of the topic is possible even in the virtual world. Because eLearning is not just about sitting passively in front of a screen. There's also a chat facility that anyone can use, to ask questions for example. The tutor has the microphone the whole time, and can enable or disable it for the students as necessary. After all, it would be quite disturbing to hear the background noise from 30 students' locations.
Presentations can also be made using eLearning. The students making the presentations are activated as moderators, enabling them to control their fellow students' microphones, and so make their presentations interactive. The tutor still retains his or her role as the primary moderator.

After my first few weeks working with the eLearning tool, I find the concept simple and efficient. For me as a dual-study student, it is a great relief not having to travel somewhere else to attend a lecture. For students at ‘normal’ universities, it can be quite hard at the beginning always having to find the right venue, and move around after each lecture. It's a great help to me in establishing a good work/life balance: I don't need to travel back and forth from work to college, and I can participate in lectures wherever I am.

Got more questions about learning and working with eLearning? Then feel free to use the blog's comment function.